Thursday, December 17, 2009

Subsidies for Greening of Developing Nations

One of the major sticking points at the Copenhagen climate change discussions is whether and by how much the industrialized nations should subsidize the efforts by developing nations to "green up." Now, I have some qualms about how nations are divided into "developing" vs. "industrialized" but that's a whole different kettle of wax.

I don't necessarily oppose subsidizing the developing nations but I do oppose doing it by sending a wad of American taxpayer dollars to do it. That money will go straight to China or Malaysia to buy technology made on the cheap (probably by subsidiaries or derivatives of American companies, but that's another digression.)

What I'd rather do is pay American companies to hire American workers to build whatever these developing countries need, and then ship it over. That way, we will help put Americans to work in a growing, vibrant high-tech sector, which is something that's good for our country. If there were stipulations that the work could not be farmed out overseas to save on labor costs, an entirely reasonable arrangement, a lot of "obsolete" American workers would have a new start in a field that has tremendous upside.

Just across the river in Philadelphia a company will be setting up shop building solar panels on the former Navy Yard site. That's a rarity that only happened because of a slew of tax breaks and incentives. Most of the new solar panel factories are going up in other countries where the labor is cheap. This idea might help to change that.

Just something to think about. I've greatly oversimplified but I think the concept is sound.

No comments: